How IoT and citizen science can tackle urban disadvantage

first_imgSurveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities Related Posts How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… Tags:#adafruit#citizen data#citizen science#CUSP#featured#Internet of Things#IoT#QoL sensor#quantified community#Red Hook#sensor data#top#urban IoT For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … A new urban sensing platform was developed for the project, the QC Urban QoL Sensor. This is a low-cost, but reliable sensor array using the 5V Trinket Pro by Adafruit Industries. The devices measure air quality, noise, light levels, pedestrian counts, and temperature/pressure/humidity.When the sensor data is combined with administrative, mobility, social media, and Wi-Fi usage data it can create a neighborhood profile to benchmark changes over time and compare to other areas of the city. These measures are designed to help communities identify and solve problems, focusing on issues of environmental health and mobility, through new sensing modalities, analytics, and data visualization. The Red Hook Initiative (RHI), a local social services community organization, was enlisted to install the sensors and engage with the local community to provide additional, volunteered data.Four sensors were installed Red Hook at different heights. Local residents were also provided with portable sensors for a short period of time to measure temperature, noise and air quality at five-second intervals. This provided an opportunity to  identify problems through data science by those that know the area best.While IoT technologies are viewed as the next generation of urban infrastructure, low-income and economically distressed communities are often not the focus of urban and civic technology deployments, and the question of equity continues to be overshadowed by expedience in many technology-led city strategies.Great opportunities for collaborationThe efforts of CUSP correlate well with other community projects such as Red Hook Wifi which aims to bring free local Wifi to residents, Hack Red Hook where participants created projects such as HighGround.nyc, a system that manages vehicle evacuation during emergency flooding situations. There’s also Open Sewer Atlas NYC, an open source mapping and data project that aims to assist in the improvement of wastewater / stormwater management by organizations with limited access to technical information and data.In regard to whether it is possible to elicit sensor data that can be utilized to influence local community or public policy, CUSP’s results have so far been somewhat underwhelming.The biggest spike in air pollution was attributed to a local community BBQ.  But researchers have been successful in creating a community project that involved local residents. Their data is only from the first of the three neighborhoods to be compared and contrasted. It’s a great opportunity to compare different neighborhoods and the impact of land use, and ultimately involve citizens in smart science within their community. The Centre for Urban Science and Progress at New York University has recently released the findings from a smart city pilot study. It’s the first in-depth analysis of a local New York Neighborhood intent on measuring the quantified community. They utilized IoT sensors to collect and analyze quality-of-life measurements at high spatial and temporal resolution in the neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn.Red Hook is an economically disadvantaged neighborhood. There is no subway service, only a few Internet hot spots and close to 70 percent of the population lives in New York City housing projects. Residents experience an asthma rate of more than 2.5 times that of the national average and more than a third live below the federal poverty line. The life expectancy of residents in Red Hook is 10 years lower than the national average. Red Hill was significantly affected by flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.The measurement of quantified communities is a long-term neighborhood informatics research initiative. Researchers will study three New York neighborhoods-Hudson Yards, Lower Manhattan, and Red Hook. They aim to collect, measure, and analyze data on the physical and environmental conditions and human behavior of each neighborhood to better understand how neighborhoods and the built environment affect individual and social well-being.Between physical environment and social healthResearchers explored the correlation between the physical, environmental, and social components of the community. Baseline community measurements focused on environmental measurements including air quality, temperature, pressure, humidity, and luminosity.They collected air quality data, particularly PM2.5 concentrations (which have been shown to have a direct impact on cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary health) at the street level. Coupling this data with building energy use data allows them to explore how the quality of the built environment, human behavior, and environmental conditions interact to affect public health.Researchers  explored the impact of an urban heat island (UHI). This is where man-made urban surfaces (such as concrete and asphalt) lead to an increased heating of the surrounding area. UHIs are linked to respiratory health conditions, high energy consumption and pollution. Localized temperature quantifications enable researchers to ascertain the connection between temperature, physical environment and resident health.  The result can assist local authorities to identify buildings and communities vulnerable to heat waves and other heat related emergencies.Citizen science makes metrics inclusive Cate Lawrencelast_img read more

FEU’s Dennison sets career-high amid jeers from DLSU crowd

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netFar Eastern University lost its opener against defending champion La Salle but another story was Ron Dennison’s personal battle against the crowd in white-and-green inside Mall of Asia Arena Sunday.Dennison was the focus of the La Salle faithful’s hatred, which stemmed from an on-court scuffle involving the Tamaraws and Green Archers in the Kadayawan Cup a few weeks back.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary “I want to show to the La Salle crowd that I can play cleanly,” said Dennnison. “I think they saw that. They aren’t blind for all I know.” For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES Read Next Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding De Ocampo goes to Meralco in three-team trade E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  The graduating guard said the jeers only fueled him to play better and he played his best game yet, putting up a career-high 21 points to go along with seven boards, and four assists.“Those boos were added motivation for me,” said Dennison, whose previous career-high of 13 points also came against La Salle, in Filipino. “People close to me know that whenever the crowd is against me I play usually harder.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutDennison was also efficient from the floor going 10-of-14 overall and 9-of-12 in the two-point region.Also, Dennison’s 21 points are almost half of his total production from Season 79. He only scored 45 points the entire season last year. View comments Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:36Archers, Eagles favorites to win UAAP Season 8001:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients last_img read more

Surprising start to season: Madrid struggles, Barcelona thrives

first_imgRobredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games It was supposed to be the other way around considering how both teams entered the season: Barcelona was in turmoil, Madrid was thriving.Madrid, the defending European and Spanish champion, was considered the early favorite after keeping its top players from a season ago and routing Barcelona 5-1 on aggregate in the Spanish Super Cup. It had also defeated Manchester United 2-1 in the European Super Cup.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingBarcelona was reeling after the surprise departure of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain and the failure to sign many top players during the offseason. It also had to deal with the absence of Luis Suarez because of an injury.It all pointed to early success for Madrid and disappointment for Barcelona. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side View comments Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Timberland Heights to host first Spartan Sprint Philippines But three games into the season, Barcelona has a perfect record and Madrid has only one victory.The Catalan club is the league leader with nine points from three victories, along with Real Sociedad, while Madrid is in seventh place with five points from a win and two consecutive draws, both at home.“It’s early in the season and the difference in points is not significant, but it’s better to be in front than to be behind,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said after the team’s 5-0 rout of Espanyol at Camp Nou Stadium on Saturday. “You never know what may happen later on. It doesn’t mean much now, but it’s good to be ahead. We will keep focused on winning and adding points.”Zinedine Zidane’s Madrid could not manage more than a 1-1 draw against minnow Levante at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Saturday.“I’m not worried, games like this one are normal in a season,” Zidane said. “There will be ups and downs, but the good thing is that we have plenty of time to fix things.”ADVERTISEMENT Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Madrid had opened with a convincing 3-0 win at Deportivo La Coruna but then was held to a 2-2 draw by Valencia at the Bernabeu. Next weekend it will face a difficult test when it travels to play co-leader Real Sociedad at Anoeta Stadium. Before that, it makes its Champions League debut against Apoel.Barcelona, which opened with 2-0 victories against Real Betis and at Alaves, hosts Juventus in the Champions League before playing at Getafe in the league on Saturday. Getafe has four points and is yet to win at home.To make things worse for Madrid, it will have to face Real Sociedad without Karim Benzema because of a muscle injury sustained against Levante, and without veteran left back Marcelo because of red card picked up late in the game.Cristiano Ronaldo, still suspended after pushing a referee in the Spanish Super Cup final, also won’t play on Sunday.Barcelona is back at full strength after Saturday’s return of Suarez, who missed the first two league games with an injury.Lionel Messi thrived as the team’s lone star, scoring five goals in the first three league matches, including a hat trick in the Catalan derby against Espanyol.Barcelona’s good start has put fans back at ease after the team started the season in bit of a crisis following the Spanish Super Cup loss to Madrid and the transfer-window debacle in which it failed to sign any top players other than Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund.“The most important thing is that the team has been playing well and the players are committed,” Valverde said. “We are being able to play well and please the fans who have been coming to watch us.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Espanyol at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)MADRID — No one saw this one coming.Real Madrid is the team struggling early in the Spanish league. Barcelona is just cruising along in the lead.ADVERTISEMENT NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul MOST READ LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

2019 Palarong Pambansa: 32 new records set

first_imgThe 2019 Palarong Pambansa, with the theme “Shaping the Future through Sports,” ran from April 27 to May 4. /kga Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MANILA, Philippines — A total of 32 records were breached in different events in swimming, athletics, and archery during the 2019 Palarong Pambansa in Davao City.Department of Education-Bureau of Learners Support Services (DepEd-BLSS) Director Rizalino Jose Rosales reported in a press conference Thursday that specifically, 18 records in swimming were beaten, 10 in athletics, and four in archery.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES MOST READ However, Rosales said there were five regions with notable improvements in their overall ranks in this year’s tourney: “Naglevel up po ang mga regions.”“Pero kung makikita po natin ‘yung number of medals, medyo nabawasan po sa NCR at nadagdagan po ang mga gold ng limang rehiyon,” Rosales pointed out.Region 5 climbed six spots after ranking seventh in this year’s Palarong Pambansa from being last year’s 13th place, he said.Athletes from Region 13 during the 2019 Palarong Pambansa parade. Photo from DepEdSoccsksargen or Region 12 ranked fourth from seventh; Region 3 ranked sixth from eighth; Region 1 ranked ninth from 11th; and Caraga or Region 13 ranked 12th from 14th in 2018, he added.“Nagle-level up po ang ating mga atleta. Gumaganda po ang ating sports program,” Rosales explained of the results.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Bucks eliminate Celtics in 5 games, advance to Eastern conference finals Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte “For 2019 Palarong Pambansa, there were 32 records broken. Ito po ay sa athletics, sa archery saka sa swimming,” he declared.Athletes from Region 12 during the 2019 Palarong Pambansa parade. Photo from DepEdRosales also said more records were breached in the secondary level compared to the elementary level.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“Mas marami pong records broken at the secondary level sa tatlong sports events na ‘yan kaysa po sa elementary. Sa elementary, dalawa ‘yung records na na-break,” he noted.The National Capital Region (NCR) reigned anew as the overall champion in the Palarong Pambansa with 86 gold medals, 71 silver medals, and 56 bronze medals. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles View comments Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Lumad school backers vow to fight legal battle vs DepEd closure order PLAY LIST 02:14Lumad school backers vow to fight legal battle vs DepEd closure order01:34Deped: 32 records broken at Palarong Pambansa01:09Palace: Briones won’t allow irregularities in DepEd amid textbook fiasco02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anewlast_img read more

10 months agoPSG goalkeeper Buffon: Man Utd stronger without Mourinho

first_imgPSG goalkeeper Buffon: Man Utd stronger without Mourinhoby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon admits Champions League opponents Manchester United are a tougher opponent without Jose Mourinho.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has won his first three matches as caretaker manager — with Buffon’s former Juventus team-mate Paul Pogba scoring four goals in the last two.Buffon said: “Will it be more difficult against Manchester United without Jose Mourinho? That is maybe the case.“But that is not down to the value of the coach.“Someone like Pogba has got something to prove. I think it will be a more complicated challenge.”Asked about finally winning the Champions League with PSG, the 40-year-old said: “They’re certainly among the big contenders, but the strongest team doesn’t always win. Especially in a shorter tournament.“It’s sometimes the bravest who win.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

a month agoSouness blasts Arsenal: Proper teams don’t play like that

first_imgSouness blasts Arsenal: Proper teams don’t play like thatby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool legend Graeme Souness rapped Arsenal for their collapse at Watford.Arsenal stormed into a two-goal lead at Vicarage Road as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang took advantage of his team-mates carving the Hornets apart to net twice.But a Sokratis mistake before half time saw Arsenal’s lead halved and Watford went for the jugular after the break.Roberto Pereyra had the final say in the game when he scored from the penalty spot nine minutes before the end. And it was Watford who came closest to winning the contest too through Abdoulaye Doucoure.”If you are an Arsenal supporter watching that you must be scratching your head,” said Souness. “It was as if this is the first team in the first half and then the second team in the second half, they capitulated.”Proper teams don’t play like that. Proper teams don’t have a half like that in the first and then play like that in the second half. Proper teams just don’t do that.”They bring on some kids – we were questioning them bringing on kids. That was a game that at 2-1 it was time to dig in and regroup and make sure they weren’t going to lose the game and they should have lost the game in the second half.”When the kids came on they were all over the place, it was like a game of basketball, and I think if you’re an Arsenal supporter that must deeply worry you.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

JSIF to Implement Projects to Benefit Thousands of Youth

first_img More than 10,000 youth, deemed ‘at-risk’, are to benefit from jobs and other income-generating activities to be created from projects that the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) will be implementing during the 2017/18 fiscal year. Story Highlights The JSIF, an agency in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), is investing $2 billion in activities that will support the Government’s undertaking to neutralise factors deemed risks to the growth agenda. Meanwhile, JSIF is partnering with the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) to implement a data-collection/civil documentation project that will generate Taxpayer Registration Numbers (TRNs), birth certificates and other documents for 4,200 residents. More than 10,000 youth, deemed ‘at-risk’, are to benefit from jobs and other income-generating activities to be created from projects that the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) will be implementing during the 2017/18 fiscal year.The JSIF, an agency in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), is investing $2 billion in activities that will support the Government’s undertaking to neutralise factors deemed risks to the growth agenda.This will be done by facilitating sustainable livelihoods in the target communities under programmes such as the Housing, Opportunity Production and Employment (HOPE) initiative, as part of the thrust to arrest the systemic drivers of poverty.The JSIF’s projects are being facilitated with support provided by the Government as well as several international development partnersThey include the Caribbean Development Bank, through the Basic Needs Trust Fund; the World Bank, under its Integrated Community Development Project; and the European Union’s Poverty Reduction Programme.Details of the wide-ranging activities are outlined in the JSIF’s submission to the OPM.Notable among them is a series of workforce development, employment and wealth creation initiatives targeting residents in Community Renewal Programme (CRP) neighbourhoods, for which JSIF is spending $685 million.The CRP is a multifaceted Government programme designed to address the living conditions in 100 communities that have been identified in Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Catherine, Clarendon and St. James as the most socially problematic as a result of their volatility and vulnerability.It addresses community empowerment, housing, sanitation and waste disposal, economic opportunity, recreation, dispute resolution and crime, among other issues.The agency is spending $80 million on activities that will generate 1,400 new, short-term and temporary jobs that will span a duration of two weeks to 12 months.These include data collectors for the proposed civil documentation programme; summer camp staff; unskilled labour for infrastructure work sites; and internships.A total of $67 million is earmarked for employment projects for 305 beneficiaries that will run for one year.Of this, $30 million has been budgeted to remunerate 165 persons who will be recruited as environmental wardens and gazetted legal officers under the National Solid Waste Management (NSWM) Act.This is in keeping with the Administration’s comprehensive solid waste management programme focusing on the collection and disposal of refuse, enforcement and community sensitisation as well as improvement of communities’ infrastructure.The beneficiaries will be responsible for enforcing the anti-litter laws, and sensitising residents to sustainable environmental management and community clean-up exercises.The agency is investing another $27 million in its employment internship component, targeting 50 unemployed young persons, aged 17 to 25.They will be placed with local private-sector entities for 12 months, where they will be exposed to the corporate world of work; laying the foundation for career choices and getting opportunities to build valuable business networks.In its submission, JSIF views the programme as fundamental to providing income-loss relief, building workplace competencies and experience and contributing to social and economic inclusion that supports Goals One and Two of the Vision 2030 Jamaica National Development Plan.Additionally, the agency says the endeavour is also in line with the Community Renewal Programme’s agenda for youth and socio-economic development.Meanwhile, JSIF will employ 90 certified trainees from the Alternative Livelihoods programme and link them with seasoned skilled personnel and service providers in the public and private sectors.This is with a view to sharpening the trainees’ skills and positioning them to meet industry standards and needs.The JSIF indicates that the timeline for this training and apprenticeship programme, which will cost approximately $10 million, will be determined by the participating entities.Under the short-term employment projects, JSIF has earmarked $4.1 million to remunerate 220 facilitators and monitors under the summer camp programmes, for periods ranging from two weeks to one month.The facilitators will support violence prevention and personal development activities targeting children and youth, aged six to 24.The agency has also earmarked $4 million for a six-month community interactive mapping project that will employ 55 persons.They will be tasked with assisting to identify challenges and solutions related to the mapping of safe routes in target communities as also the eradication of mosquito breeding sites.Additionally, 25 persons will be employed over three months to revitalise and beautify parks, green and public spaces, playgrounds and sports facilities. A total of $1.8 million is earmarked for this programme.The engagement represents a continuation and expansion of JSIF’s investments in support of public safety and will focus on volatile and vulnerable communities in downtown Kingston, Spanish Town, Montego Bay, May Pen, Ocho Rios and Savanna-la-Mar.“This will support the urban-renewal thrust, job creation and growth,” JSIF points out.Meanwhile, JSIF is partnering with the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) to implement a data-collection/civil documentation project that will generate Taxpayer Registration Numbers (TRNs), birth certificates and other documents for 4,200 residents.This engagement, which costs $1 million, will employ 60 data collectors and seven supervisors to interview and register residents by conducting household visits and attending community and other stakeholder meetings.JSIF is also investing another $126 million to facilitate business development and technical support to agricultural and tourism enterprises that will benefit 700 persons.This activity is aimed at driving economic activity in rural communities, while contributing to national growth.Key inputs under this project include the provision of agro-processing facilities; greenhouse clusters; and community-based tourism attractions.These undertakings, JSIF explains, are aimed at ensuring that previous investments in honey production; in-vitro propagation of Irish potato seeds and pig rearing are sustained and attain maximum outputs.last_img read more

How The Atlanta Falcons Offense Went From Good To Great

The Atlanta Falcons had the NFL’s most explosive offense this season, racking up yards and points with efficiency and balance. As a result, the Falcons are the NFC’s No. 2 seed in the playoffs, quarterback Matt Ryan is a leading MVP candidate and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is reportedly interviewing for four different head-coach openings.The Falcons led the NFL in many offensive metrics this season, finishing No. 1 in points per game (33.8), yards per play (6.7), per-drive scoring rate (52.6 percent) and Football Outsiders’ offensive DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average).But Ryan, Shanahan, star wideout Julio Jones and the Falcons’ dynamic tailback duo of Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman were all in Atlanta last season, and the Falcons finished below or around the league average in all of those categories.So what has transformed an underperforming offense into the most effective unit in the NFL?Nearly every element that has made the 2016 Falcons offense special was on display in Week 12, when they welcomed a hungry, talented Arizona Cardinals defense. Despite their struggles with consistency, the Cardinals ended up finishing first in sack rate (8.1 percent), second in yards-per-play allowed (4.8), ninth in per-drive scoring rate (32.1 percent) and 10th in per-drive turnover rate (13.0 percent).The Cardinals received the opening kickoff and then drove for a touchdown, putting Ryan and company in a 7-0 hole. How the Falcons offense answered is a microcosm of how it’s dismantled NFL defenses all season long.Anchoring the run gamePerhaps the best free-agent acquisition of the offseason, center Alex Mack — the second-highest rated center in the league, according to Pro Football Focus — has transformed the Falcons’ line, providing a vital boost to the team’s pass protection and run-blocking. And his leadership on the team has set the tone for the Falcons’ young offensive line, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff told me during an August interview on SiriusXM’S “NFL Inside Read.”On Monday, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn called Mack a “real critical factor in what we do and how we play.” That was evident on the second play of the Falcons’ opening drive against the Cardinals in Week 12.On a zone run to the left, Mack (No. 51) engaged and overwhelmed Pro Bowl defensive end Calais Campbell (No. 93). Freeman (No. 24) cut behind Mack’s block and exploded through the opened seam:Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/538_falcons_mack-1.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Football Outsiders’ offensive line metrics rank the Falcons 10th in Adjusted Line Yards (4.09), up from 15th (3.82) last season. The balance provided by being able to run the ball is keeping the Atlanta offense on schedule and the chains moving; the Falcons’ run game was third in expected points added (+22.12) this season, up from 31st in 2015 (-62.96).Outstanding receiver playJulio Jones’s raw numbers this season were down from 2015, when he was a first-team All-Pro and led the league with 1,871 yards on 136 catches. But his efficiency is up significantly, and the Atlanta offense has been better for it. During the 2016 regular season, Ryan targeted Jones on 24.2 percent of his pass attempts, down from his force-fed 33.1 percent rate in 2015. The effectiveness of new receivers Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel, plus the continued impact of Freeman and Coleman out of the backfield, means that the entire Atlanta offense doesn’t have to run through Jones anymore. With Jones free to concentrate on beating defenses deep, his yards per catch exploded from a career-low 13.8 last season to 17.0. That’s Jones’s highest mark since his rookie season (17.8), when he was a high-powered complement to veteran No. 1 Roddy White.Ryan’s accuracy and ball placement haven’t been markedly better this season than in the past, as Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus wrote, but his receivers are getting open more often and catching the ball much more reliably.Gabriel (1st), Jones (2nd) and Sanu (34th) all rank among the top 35 receivers in DVOA, reflecting the per-play value each delivered on passes thrown their way. But Ryan’s collection of weapons is so robust that even down-roster players make big contributions. On the opening drive against Arizona in Week 12, rotational wideout Justin Hardy made a spectacular catch that turned an incomplete pass into a 27-yard gain:Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/538_falcons_hardy.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Dictating matchupsBut watch the Hardy catch again: The tight end goes in motion right, then turns around and sprints out to the left flat. The offensive line sells a zone run to the right, only for Ryan to sell a play fake and roll back to the left. Hardy’s two-move route takes him with the run action, then upfield, then back out to move with the quarterback.All-Pro Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson should have no problem covering a fourth-string wideout one-on-one, but his eyes are checking on the run action. By the time he gets his head around and watches Hardy make a second move, there’s too much separation for Peterson to recover. Ryan puts it high, and Hardy makes an outstanding catch.Throughout the drive, Shanahan uses motion, spread formations, bunch formations and varied personnel packages. Sanu lines up outside, inside — even as a Wildcat quarterback, fooling a linebacker with a read-option keeper:Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/538_falcons_sanu_b.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Any offensive coordinator can install a bunch of goofy looks and pre-snap window dressing. But Shanahan is dictating matchups and getting players open.Aggressive coachingThe 11-play touchdown drive (discounting a defensive penalty on the Cardinals’ 2-yard line) seems like a master class on how to execute a scripted game plan against a stout defense.But the Falcons’ offense did fail at one point in the drive. Peterson sniffed out a screen to Freeman on a 2nd-and-4 play from the Arizona 44, and on the next play, Coleman was stopped three yards short of the sticks.A 4th-and-3 in opponent territory? Other NFL head coaches might punt the ball away and surrender possession, but Quinn went for it. Shanahan dialed up a rub route, and Sanu made a drive-saving catch.The Wall Street Journal named Quinn the fourth-most-aggressive head coach of 2016, factoring in fourth-down decisions, play-calling and special-teams decisions. By pressing his talent and scheme advantage, Quinn is maximizing his chances of winning.It’s not just that Ryan has cut his interceptions down this season, from his career rate of 2.4 percent to 1.3 percent. It’s not just that the offensive line is playing much better, receiver depth is dramatically improved or that the coaches are getting optimal results from the available talent. It’s all of these factors coming together to challenge NFL defenses on every front — and make the Falcons look as ready as anybody to make a Super Bowl run.Check out our latest NFL predictions. read more

Football Ohio State finds offensive line success in time for playoff push

Ohio State redshirt senior offensive lineman Demetrius Knox (78) makes an “H” as he is taken off the field in the second half of the game against Michigan on Nov. 24. Ohio State won 62-39. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorOhio State proved plenty in its dominating 62-39 victory against Michigan, including the ability to play consistently well on both sides of the ball against a team ranked in the top 25 in scoring offense and defense.For the offense, it wasn’t the usual successful game. It wasn’t just redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins throwing the lights out on his own.Against Michigan, and Maryland the week prior, the Buckeyes found a more complete offense, allowing Haskins to continue to put up big numbers while the run game gained the consistency it lacked in the first half of the season.The new and improved offense starts with the new and improved play on the offensive line.“I have seen the consistency,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “We’ve all seen consistency start — I can’t give you the exact time, but they’re playing very well right now.”Haskins has thrown for more than 395 yards and the team has run for at least 170 yards and 4.8 yards per carry, allowing only a single sack in the past two games combined.Both Maryland and Michigan ranked in the top 20 in passing defense coming into the matchup, and the Wolverines had the No. 1 defense in the NCAA.Meyer said the offensive line’s performance against Michigan “was one of the best” he has seen from the group all season.After giving up zero sacks to Michigan and becoming a key contributor to the statement win the Buckeyes needed, they lost a key member late in the fourth quarter when the game was all but over.Redshirt senior guard Demetrius Knox went down with a foot injury that Meyer described as a “Lisfranc issue.” Knox announced Monday on Twitter that his Ohio State career was over after starting 20 total games for the Buckeyes.“He’s done so much for this team in his career here, so it’s a tough loss for us,” Meyer said. “We’ve got to regroup and put together that position.”Taking Knox’s place will be redshirt freshman guard Wyatt Davis, Meyer said. Davis, a former five-star recruit, has appeared in five games this season.Meyer said Davis’ recruitment was “one of the most enjoyable recruiting experiences” he’s ever had, and the redshirt freshman has been close to getting his chance for weeks.“He’s a rugged guy, and he’s been scratching and clawing for playing time ever since probably five, six weeks ago, and has been close,” Meyer said. “We didn’t want to disrupt the flow of the five guys in there.”Davis no longer needs to scratch and claw his way to the job. He has it. But he gets the starting job following the offensive line’s best performance yet and Ohio State’s most consistently impressive game in every facet of the field.Davis enters as the player disrupting the consistency — a change in the depth chart that could disrupt an Ohio State team finally looking like one that can make a run for the College Football Playoff.Meyer said all five starting members of the offensive line were champions against the Wolverines.Against No. 19 Northwestern, which has another top 30 scoring defense, Davis will need to prove himself able of taking over the spot Knox leaves behind, right at the time Ohio State’s offensive line finally turned the corner it had been searching for. read more